Barcelona 3-1 PSG
FC Barcelona secured their place as winners of Group F as they had a sweet revenge against Paris Saint-Germain by defeating them 3-1 in their Champions League final group game at the Camp Nou.
Barca Coach Luis Enrique fielded a surprising starting line up. With Dani Alves Suspended, debates rose on who should start as right back for the Catalans with Adriano, Montoya and Douglas available. Unbelievably, Enrique did not include Montoya and Douglas in the squad and benched Adriano to star Pedro in an unfamiliar position.
Lucho also benched Jordi Alba whose spot at Barca’s left back seems undisputable, and started Jeremy Mathieu in that position.
Barcelona started well by creating the first threat with Messi bending a free kick just over the bar early in the game.
The visitors took the lead in the 15th minute as Lucas Moura managed to thread a pass into the feet of Blaise Matuidi inside Barca’s box, who then teed up former Blaugrana Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the striker made no mistake as he fired a left-footed first time drive past Marc Andre ter Stegen into the right bottom corner.
The goal brought Barca to life and they hit back without wasting time as Luis Suarez chased down a long ball over the top of the PSG defence, and executed a low ball across the face of goal. Lionel Messi was on hand to slide in with a finish to the roof of the post to bring his side level.
Lucas Moura kept on troubling Mathieu and Barca defence and should have fired his side back in front when he latched onto a cross at the near post from Matuidi as he got in front of Marc Barta, but could only direct his first-time shot wide of the post.
Laurent Blanc’s side were able to break behind the Barcelona defence when Ibrahimovic found himself unmarked down the right. The Swede lofted a cross to the back post for Edinson Cavani, but his strike was well saved by the well positioned Ter Stegen.
The home side came close to nipping in front when a loose ball from a Pedro cross fell to Suarez in the penalty area, but Salvatore Sirigu beat his effort away with a fine reaction stop.
However, the Catalans went ahead on 41 minutes as Neymar collected the ball in the wing and dribbled through PSG defence before unleashing a beautifully placed curling shot from 25 yards, which sailed past Sirigu and nestled into the bottom right corner. 2-1 it ended at Half time.
In the second half, PSG had an excellent chance to restore parity when Lucas weaved his way past Jeremy Mathieu down the right and fired a low cross into the six-yard box. The home side didn’t clear their lines and Cavani swung a foot at the ball, but his effort strike was blocked by Marc Bartra, while the rebound fell to Matuidi and he failed to sort his feet out before Bartra nipped in again to clear.
Barcelona scored their third of the evening to secure their win as they moved the ball quickly across the box to Neymar on the left, who saw his powerful shot at goal well saved by Sirigu, but Luis Suarez was on hand to fire home the rebound which ensured the Catalans of a win.
With the win, Barca finish as winners of group F with 15 points and will avoid the likes of Chelsea, Bayern and Dortmund in the next round which will be revealed on Monday.